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Bill Dawes18/12/2021 17:58:12
533 forum posts

Hi all, about to rivet window frames in place in my Emma Victoria 5" gauge.

Now you all know how many operations require more than the two pairs of hands most of us are equipped with, I have had similar rivetting problems but most of them I could get away with holding the rivet set in a vise and with a bit of dexterity manage to hold the work and a hammer to just flatten the other end over, it was hidden but I can sense the purists cringing at the thought of that.

In this case both ends of the rivet will be in view so a neat job is called for, any tips guys. I could just use screws and nuts I suppose but thought that might not look right.

Bill D.

Martin Kyte18/12/2021 19:05:24
2721 forum posts
48 photos

You could make a George Thomas Pillar tool which will hold the punches for you, see Hemmingway kits or Georges Book for details. Or you could make a rivetting pliers in the form of a hand held toogle press.

regards Martin

John Hinkley18/12/2021 19:18:58
1301 forum posts
423 photos


Surely TWO pairs of hands should allow you to do the rivetting AND scratch your nose at the same time?

Or you could get someone with one pair of hands to help you? Not very helpful. Sorry. Steam is not my thing so I don't know what's involved.



not done it yet18/12/2021 19:35:42
6719 forum posts
20 photos

Fix by other means and then fit dummy rivet heads?

David George 118/12/2021 19:56:10
1808 forum posts
503 photos

There is a riveting tool that squeezes the rivet and forms the head. Have a look in the archives on here or someone will come on and help with more info.


Speedy Builder518/12/2021 21:42:41
2590 forum posts
207 photos

Thousands, possibly millions of rivets on aircraft are/were set with a round head on one side and just "upset" on the other side. Vast amounts of rivets have been saved by "gluing" panels together now.

JasonB19/12/2021 07:01:40
22560 forum posts
2634 photos
1 articles

I found that if you use one of the snaps held vertically in the vice and arrange two suitable supports on the bench then the work almost becomes self supporting on the three points, supports only need be blocks of wood or stack of small boxes. You then rest the hand holding the second snap on the work to keep the factory rivit head in the vice mounted snap and the other usually right hand is free to do the hammering. I did my traction engine wheels, tender and hornplates like this where both sides are on show

If you have room to get a rivit squeezer in then Polly sell them complete or just the castings, there was also an article in an old ME and reproduced in one of the "best of" specials. These have been discussed several times for example

Bill Dawes19/12/2021 19:06:19
533 forum posts

Thanks guys, I did wonder if there was a tool available, not looked yet but guess it would need to be quite large to fit to rivet on front of cab and then round the roof to inside of cab.

Think I will stick with Jason's suggestion, more or less how I have done it before when just hammering over plain end but with supports for cab so I can position set and hammer over.

Usual story I suppose, take a bit more trouble in setting up to make job easier in the end and achieving a good result.

Bill D.

bernard towers19/12/2021 19:21:56
568 forum posts
109 photos

Don’t forget to anneal non ferrous and let down steel ones beforehand, makes life a lot easier!

alan ord 219/12/2021 19:56:25
126 forum posts
35 photos

Bill there is a hand rivet sueezer described in an old ME mag 15th May 1987. I made one last year and have rivetted hundreds of rivets with it. If you don't have a copy and want one contact me through the forum and I will send you a copy, including some improvements I made.


CHAS LIPSCOMBE19/12/2021 21:04:01
30 forum posts
3 photos

Let down steel rivets? Can someone please explain this term to me? I thought that steel rivets were made of dead-mild steel which would not harden with age?

When stuck for an alternative, I have made rivets from ordinary woodworking nails - a lot of faffing around but it got the job done.

In difficult assembly situations would it work to hold the bits together with superglue at a few strategic points,then just rivet them together(for appearances sake)?


Bill Dawes29/12/2021 21:44:58
533 forum posts

Alan, sorry only just revisited this post, thank you for your kind offer, I will see how I get on (haven't got back to it yet) and let you know if I need info.

Bill D.

Brian H30/12/2021 08:10:38
2312 forum posts
112 photos

Bill, if you search for 'rivet squeezer' on the net, you will find several of them. Not cheap though.


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